SACP secretary general Blade Nzimade and his deputy Solly Mapaila brief the media after the party's national executive committee meeting in Ekurhuleni. Picture: Getrude Makhafola/ANA

Johannesburg - The SA Communist Party (SACP) said on Monday it is ready to be consulted on the looming cabinet reshuffle, including discussing suggestions that its secretary general Blade Nzimande return to cabinet.

SACP deputy secretary Solly Mapaila said the party was yet to be consulted as part of the tri-partite alliance.

''This is an alliance-led government, and comrade Blade is the leader of the SACP, which is participating in government through the alliance led by the ANC. He was unceremoniously removed from cabinet by former president Jacob Zuma...we rejected this [move] as SACP. He was not removed because he was incompetent....if anything, he was one of the most competent ministers," Mapaila told reporters following the SACP national executive committee meeting over the weekend.

''He has capacity and can serve on that level. So, first on our list is our general secretary, he is a member of Parliament...this is the position of the SACP.''

When asked whether he would go back to cabinet if appointed, Nzimande said he would "cross that bridge when I get there".

Nzimande was fired as higher education minister by Zuma in 2017, as the former president dealt sharply with his critics.

The SACP, once staunch supporters of Zuma, having helped him ascend to power in 2009, became sharp critics of his presidency and party leadership,and called for him to step down along with the other alliance partner, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu). The two alliance partners rallied behind President Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of the ruling African National Congress' 54th elective congress in December last year.

African News Agency/ANA